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22nd February

 Update: But But But But But...

French religious leaders wont sign up to free speech declaration
Link Here  full story: Charlie Hebdo...Censored by terrorists
the tablet The French Catholic Church has declined to sign a declaration by the group Reporters without Borders (RSF) challenging faith groups to pledge unreserved support for free speech or face public pressure to do so.

RSF president Christophe Deloire proposed the declaration after religious leaders, reacting to last month's terrorist attack on the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, backed free speech ...BUT... said it had to be exercised responsibly.

Nobody can impose his concept of the sacred on others, says the declaration, which says some people might be offended by free speech ...BUT... this cannot justify limiting any opinion, even an irreverent one. church-state separation.

This declaration seems to suspect religions of being not very active in supporting free speech, if not actually opposed to it, said Marseille Archbishop Georges Pontier, president of the bishops' conference.

The Church, which reiterated its support for the principle of free speech after the attack, [...BUT...] does not sign declarations it has not helped draft, he said, adding it was regrettable the text was addressed only to religious leaders and not other civil society personalities.

The heads of France's main Muslim, Protestant and Buddhist groups signed the declaration. Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia said he agreed in principle to it ...BUT... did not sign without all the other religious leaders.

 

21st February

 Updated: Censors in need of a good thrashing...

Fifty Shades of Grey is banned in Nigeria, UAE, Papua New Guinea, and parts of Russia.
Link Here
Fifty Shades Grey Jamie Dornan Fifty Shades of Grey continues to wind up film censors.

UAE: Banned

UAE's film censors of the National Media Council have required 35 minutes of cuts due to inappropriate scenes, forcing distributor Four Star Films to pull the film. The council's director of media content Juma Al Leem told the paper.

We reviewed the movie in the presence of the distributor and after he realized how many inappropriate scenes there were, he took the decision not to show the movie himself, before we were able to make a decision.

Russia: Not shown in the Caucases

Meanwhile Russian news agency TASS reported that the erotic drama, which opened elsewhere in Russia on Feb. 12 with an 18+ age restriction, has been pulled out by cinemas in the republics of Ossetia, Ingushetia and Chechnya. Ossetian mufti Khadzhimurat Gatsalov was quoted as saying:

The initiative to send an address to the region's authorities, requesting that the film be banned, came from young people who are concerned about noticeable interest in the movie from those who are in the early twenties,

TASS also quoted Madina Ayubova, a spokesperson for Kinostar, a theater in Chechnya's capital Grozny, as saying that film won't be exhibited in Chechnya:

Because a lot of what is shown in [the film] contradicts the mentality and religion of the majority of the republic's population.

According to Gatsalov, the film is not going to be exhibited in any of the four remaining North Caucasus republics either.

Philippines: Blurred

MTRCB, The Philippines censorship group's Chairman Eugenio Toto Villareal told the Inquirer that the board approved the film with no further cuts, but that the producer/distributor (Columbia Pictures) had made pre-cuts prior to review.

As part of the measures, a 10-second notice is flashed onscreen before each screening, disclosing that the film was classified as is and in its entirety with noticeable blurs and screen blocks introduced by the film producer. The notice also informs the public about the adult content.

Update: Banned in Papua New Guinea and heavily cut in Zimbabwe

19th February 2015. See  article from  newzimbabwe.com .
See  article from  pacific.scoop.co.nz

Papua New Guinea : Banned in February 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey has been refused classification by the Papua New Guinea Censorship Office, preventing it from being shown in cinemas.

Zimbabwe: Heavily cut in February 2015

Zimbabwe's film censors have demanded heavy editing of the film Fifty Shades of Grey, leading to some movie theatres not screening it.

Two cinema houses in the capital Harare are screening an edited version of the movie. Sam Levy's Village was not screening it with the explanation:

It was felt that heavy censorship would compromise the integrity of the film and thus, a decision has been made by Ster-Kinekor Sam Levy's Village not to screen the film within its complex.

Update: Nigeria Too

21st February 2015. See  article from  osundefender.org

Nigeria : Banned in February 2015

Nigeria's National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) has banned Fifty Shades of Grey, but only after the board had let it be shown for about a week.

World censors' ratings:

  • Argentina 16
  • Australia: rated MA15+ (15A in UK ratings terminology) for strong sex scenes, sexual themes and nudity
  • Canada (Quebec) 16+
  • Canada (Ontario + British Columbia) 18A
  • China Unavailable as distributors think Chinese film censors would ban it
  • Czech Republic: 15
  • France 12
  • Germany 16
  • Iceland 16
  • Indonesia Banned
  • Ireland 18
  • Italy 14
  • Kenya Banned
  • Malaysia Banned
  • New Zealand R18 for sex scenes and offensive language
  • Netherlands 16
  • Nigeria Banned
  • Papua New Guinea Banned
  • Philippines R-18 after censorship cuts implemented by blurring
  • Russia 18+ (banned in Ossetia, Ingushetia and Chechnya)
  • Singapore R21 uncut for mature theme and sexual scenes
  • South Korea 18
  • Spain 16
  • Sweden: 15
  • Thailand 20
  • UAE Banned
  • UK 18 uncut for strong sex
  • US: R rated (17A in UK ratings terminology) for strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity, and for language.
  • Vietnam 16+ after cuts which were required to make the film suitable for the masses
  • Zimbabwe Heavily cut. Some cinemas have decided that the cut version is not worth showing

 

20th February

 Update: Maltese PM claims he's Charlie...

Blasphemy law is still alive and kicking in Malta
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Malta...Malta prosecutes many for villifying the chruch

nun costume blasphemy in malta Whereas the rest of Europe has an unwritten blasphemy law enforced by violent religious intolerants, Malta quaintly has an official blasphemy law enforced by the police.

In the light of the muslim terrorism in Paris, the Maltese press have been noting the irony the country's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat heading off to Paris to participate in a unity rally, whilst presiding over a country with a blasphemy law that makes it illegal to acquire or distribute the many issues of Charlie Hebdo featuring religious cartoonery.

Uttering any obscene words - although what constitutes obscene words is not defined - in public is one of the contraventions affecting public order included in Article 338 of the Criminal Code. But Article 342 sets out that if the act involves blasphemous words or expressions, the offender may be jailed for up to three months, although a fine may be levied instead.

Another contravention listed in Article 338 includes ecclesiastical habits or vestments among the uniforms which cannot be worn without the permission of the authorities.

The Criminal Code also includes three articles which specifically address crimes against the religious sentiment. Article 163 and 164 concern the vilification of religion, granting a privileged position to the Roman Catholic religion - declared to be Malta's religion in the Constitution - in the process.

Article 163 sets out that whoever publicly vilifies the Roman Catholic Apostolic Religion which is the religion of Malta, or gives offence to the Roman Catholic Apostolic Religion by vilifying those who profess such religion or its ministers, or anything which forms the object of, or is consecrated to, or is necessarily destined for Roman Catholic worship, shall, on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term from one to six months. Article 164 criminalises the same behaviour when directed towards any cult tolerated by law, but in this case, only a maximum jail term of three months is foreseen.

Article 165 criminalises the obstruction of religious services, this time making no distinction between Roman Catholic services and those of other religions tolerated by law. Anyone who obstructs religious services carried out with the assistance of a minister of religion or in any place of worship or in any public place or place open to the public may be jailed for up to one year, or up to two years if the obstruction involves threats or violence.

A Maltese Charlie Hebdo would clearly fall foul of both Article 163 - the cover of one issue, for instance, carried a depiction of the Trinity engaged in a sexual act - and Article 164.

Due to some of the magazine's more risque content, anyone involved in its production or distribution could also be prosecuted under Article 208, which criminalises the production, acquisition or distribution of obscene or pornographic material, with offenders liable to imprisonment for up to 1 year.

And it's not as if Maltese blasphemy law is some sort of dormant anachronism from the past. Blasphemy laws are still actively enforced, and a number of people have received suspended jail terms as a result.

A number of people had ended up in Court and charged with vilifying the Roman Catholic religion in the wake of the 2009 Nadur carnival. Then-Archbishop of Malta, Paul Cremona, and Gozo Bishop Mario Grech had jointly urged the authorities to intervene before the police confirmed that arraignments would take place.

A 26-year-old man who dressed up as Jesus received a one-month jail term suspended for six months after pleading guilty. But a group who dressed up as nuns pleaded not guilty and were acquitted because they were not wearing any religious symbols.

However, another young man received a suspended jail term for vilifying the Roman Catholic religion in 2009: he displayed visuals which included, among other things, Pope John Paul II and a naked woman while DJing at a music festival.